Session 4: Consistent Community

Why Do I Feel Alone?

Depression can be isolating at times. It can make you want to withdraw from everything. I’ve been there. There are still times when I want to withdraw from everything around me, to just escape.

But, the truth is, isolation begins as as a lie we tell ourselves. It’s choosing a mindset where we think that no one understands us and our unique situation or that no one cares about us enough.

The truth is there are people out there who care deeply about you, who want to see you happy. There are people who believe in you and want to see you at your best. We just have to choose community over isolation.

Community by denition, is:

  • a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
  • a similarity or identity
  • joint ownership or liability

No matter who you are, all of us need people who are going to be able to offer another way of looking at things from another point of view. It’s so easy for us to get stuck in our thoughts, to only see the negative.

Having other people in our lives on a consistent basis to talk about life with and to share your struggles with will give opportunity for them to provide insight into your life that make navigating the highs and lows a whole lot easier.

One of my favorite quotes, because how I’ve seen it to be true in my life…

“You are the average of the ve people you spend the most time with.”

Jim Rohn

Or, as Darren Hardy writes in The Compound Effect: “According to research by social psychologist Dr. David McClelland of Harvard, [the people you habitually associate with] determine as much as 95 percent of your success or failure in life.”

So what makes a great community?

Similar to a mentor, a healthy community is made up of people who share the same convictions and beliefs as you. They should challenge you and hold you up to a higher standard. Here are a few guidelines for creating a healthy community:

  • Set clear expectations for the intention of the group, how frequently you meet, and the shared core values of the group
  • Be intentional about pursuing others relationally.
  • Be authentic. I can’t express enough how instrumental this is to your happiness. We all want to be understood and we all want to be a part of something. The emotional freedom we seek comes from letting down your walls and allowing others to know you.,
  • Hold each other accountable. Bad things grow in the dark. We alls truggle and we all need help at different stages of life, whether it be drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pornangraphy, anger, isolation, or laziness. Create a judgement free atmosphere and show up ready to encourage.

Review
Consistent Community is essential to living a fullling life. It can be a safeguard from the nasty lows of depression. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Reflect
Which relationships in your life do you feel are dragging you down and may need to let go of?

Which relationships could you benet from investing more into?

Can you see yourself hosting a small weekly hangout?

Take Action
Write down what you envision as a healthy consistent community. How often would you like to meet? What conversations would you have? What accountability could you and your friends benet from? What’s going to challenge you in healthy ways?

Then, decide whether creating a group or joining an existing group would be a good t, or ask a friend if they’d be interested in starting an intentional community group with you.